Kim Jong Un, North Korean leader, reviewed powerful missiles that could launch nuclear strikes against the U.S. continental. He also pledged to create an “invincible military” to deal with what he called persistent U.S. hostility. State media reported Tuesday.
Kim used Monday’s speech at a rare display of weapons systems to emphasize that his military might wasn’t directed at South Korea, and that there shouldn’t be another war pitting Korean citizens against each other.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim stated Monday that “The U.S. has repeatedly indicated it’s not hostile towards our state, but we have no action-based evidence making us believe that they don’t seem hostile.” “The U.S. continues to cause tensions in the region through its wrong judgments, and actions.”
Kim called the United States “source” of instability in the Korean Peninsula. He stated that his country’s main objective was to possess an “invincible” military capability that no one can challenge.
According to Seoul officials, the exhibition was intended to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Workers’ Party, according to KCNA. Kim was pictured in a dark suit and walking along a red carpet with large missiles on trucks. He also passed by a multi-rocket launch system, as well as watching the jets fly in formation.
Experts say the exhibition showcased a variety of new weapons, including intercontinental missiles that North Korea has test-launched and displayed at military parades in recent decades.
Yang Wook, a South Korean military expert, stated that the weapons shown in the photos include what appears like a new ICBM, which North Korea revealed during a military parade last January but hasn’t tested-fired. The North’s largest-yet ICBM is believed to have been mounted on an 11-axel launcher vehicle at the parade.
Another ICBM was displayed by North Korea in 2017, as well as ballistic missiles that can fire from submarines and trains; short-range, solid-fueled missiles and a development hypersonic missile. Lee Choon Geun is a South Korean missile expert and spoke about the weapons.
Yang stated that North Korea is trying to convey the following message: “We’ll continue developing new weapons and arming ourselves with nuclear force. So don’t slap sanctions on these as we cannot agree to the double standard.”
Seoul’s Defense Ministry stated that South Korean and U.S intelligence authorities were analysing the North Korean weapons, but did not elaborate.
Recent weeks have seen mixed signals from North Korea toward its rivals. It resumed missile testing after a six month hiatus, but it offered conditional talks to South Korea.
Kim accused South Korea, during his exhibition speech, of hypocrisy for criticizing North Korea’s weapons production as provocations and spending heavily to improve its military capabilities. He maintained that his military does not target South Korea.
Kim stated, “I repeat that South Korea is not the enemy that our military forces must fight against.” We are not strengthening our defense capabilities because of South Korea. We don’t want to repeat the terrible history of our compatriots using force against one another.”
Experts believe that North Korea is trying to leverage South Korea’s desire for better ties in order to press the United States into easing its economic sanctions against the North and making other concessions.
North Korea long seeks improved relations with the United States. It wants sanctions relief and a safer environment so that it can focus on its economy. After the Americans rejected North Korea’s request for substantial sanctions relief in exchange for partial disarmament, the high-stakes diplomatic relationship between the two countries collapsed in the early part of 2019.
Recent offers by the United States to North Korea have been repeated without conditions. Kim called this a “cunning” attempt by the United States to hide hostility towards North Korea. He wants Washington to lift sanctions on North Korea or to suspend regular military drills with Seoul before talks can resume.
Kim maintains a self-imposed 2018 moratorium on long-range missile attacks directly targeting American soil, despite recent missile testing. This is a sign that Kim wants to continue talks with Washington.
North Korea claimed that it had developed the capability to strike the U.S. mainland using nuclear missiles in 2017, after three ICBM test. Lee, an expert, challenged the North’s claims and said it must conduct more flight-tests in order to prove that it has overcome any remaining technological hurdles, such as the one regarding protecting a warhead against extreme heat pressure upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.